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Title: #Selfie : identity online : the effects of social media design through the lens of comic books
Author: Dyer, Harry
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 1459
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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Against a backdrop of young people increasingly using an array of social media platforms for a range of social activities, accessed through a variety of devices, this thesis considers the effect of these platforms upon the identity performances of young people online. In order to do so, this thesis proposes a theoretical framework to consider the manner in which user and design enmesh to produce unique identity performances. Through the proposed Comic Book Theory, this thesis is able to consider how given identity performances are bound to the specific design of the platforms, but that the performances are also realised in a unique manner by socio-culturally bound users. From this, a series of interviews were conducted over the course of a year with 9 participants, allowing for ongoing discussions around how they engaged with social media and how they presented identity. The discussions covered their thoughts and impressions of the platforms, their uses of specific features, their social interactions and presentations of identity, the effects of changes in their offline lives upon their online interactions, and the devices through which they accessed these platforms. The findings revealed a range of identity performances by young people across an array of platforms, with the participants’ specific concerns and needs shaping how they engaged with social media. It was also found that the platforms played a role in shaping the identity performances of the young people, confining what was possible for them and informing how they approached social interaction on each platform. As such, it was noted that identity performances online are nuanced and multi-faceted, and therefore that an approach towards identity performances online needs to account for the interplay between design and user from which unique and ongoing identity performances emerge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available